Month: May 2014

Trimming the Average Budget: Entertaiment

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Home Buying (and Other Big Purchases) as an Emotional Purchase

A few months before we bought our current home, my wife and I toured literally dozens of different houses, trying to find one that was right for us. We had come up with a budget for our purchase and knew what our firm spending cap was. On one bright spring day, my wife and I …

Trimming the Average Budget: Healthcare

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag #97

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. What is an appropriate level and kind …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Elements of Investing

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Elements of Investing by Burton G. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis is a nice small volume, reminiscent in size and length to one of the Little Book investment volumes. I chose to pick this up because I highly respect Malkiel’s books A Random …

Trimming the Average Budget: Other Transportation Expenses

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Categories: Automobile

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: January 9, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … …

Categories: Time Machine

Trimming the Average Budget: Buying a Car

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Trimming the Average Budget: Food at Home

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Why It’s Worth Your Time to Meet Your Financial Advisors

A few weeks ago, my wife and I planned a meeting with a financial advisor that was the representative for her 403(b) plan. Due to some rule changes, she was no longer eligible to receive an employer match with this plan, but she had been happy with their offerings and performance, so we had made …

Categories: Getting Started

Trimming the Average Budget: Home Energy Costs

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Silas Marner and You

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a Simple Dollar reader named Kip, who brought up the classic novel Silas Marner by George Eliot (if you’d like to read it, here’s the entire text, or if you’d just like a summary, here are the Sparknotes). I was so inspired by the conversation that I dug my …

Trimming the Average Budget: Pensions and Social Security

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Conventions Edition

Quite a few readers expressed interest in having meetups of some sort at any conventions or conferences I attend this year – if not at the conference itself, in the town where the conference is held. So here’s an update. It’s looking like I won’t be attending SXSW this year (but I’m hoping for next …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Trimming the Average Budget: Housing and Shelter

This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

Categories: Getting Started

Personal Finance 101: Getting Started with Banking

We all did it at the beginning of our financial lives. We grew up. We moved out. We opened accounts at a bank on our own, quite often a different bank than the one used by our parents. And we had to figure it out. How should we pick a bank? How do we move …

How the Average American Family Spends Their Income – And How to Trim It

I’ve often wondered how the typical household budget is spent. Several times in 2009, I came across this thoroughly interesting infographic, originally from VisualEconomics.com: The link now goes to an updated video of how the average American spends their paycheck. The picture depicts how the average American family spends their income based on Department of …

Reader Mailbag #96

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. I recently found out that I am …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Happiness Project

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a non-personal finance book of interest to Simple Dollar readers. One of the biggest underlying themes of The Simple Dollar is that personal finance is merely a tool to improve the quality of your life. Of course, it’s an unwieldy and dangerous tool, one that, if used without …